Chiefs rally past Buffalo 42-36 in OT in wild playoff game

Sun Jan 23 11:28pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates with teammates after catching an 8-yard touchdown pass during overtime in an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won 42-36. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon (1) runs from Buffalo Bills cornerback Dane Jackson (30) during the second half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is pressured by Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Addison (97) during the second half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (7) reacts after missing a filed goal during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) looks to pass during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Related photo caption below

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis (13) celebrates with teammate Dawson Knox (88) after catching an 18-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) runs from Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde (23) during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)


Related photo caption below

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass over Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Ben Niemann (56) during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)


Related photo caption below

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs up field during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) runs from Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson (24) during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass around Buffalo Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau (50) during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Related photo caption below

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs from Kansas City Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill (22) during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Related photo caption below

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle (13) runs from Buffalo Bills middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (49) after catching a pass during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) In a never-say-die showdown between two of the NFL's top teams, and two of its bright young quarterbacks, the Bills and Chiefs played a classic Sunday night decided by one of them calling tails and the other making him pay for it.

Josh Allen's decision on the overtime coin toss was his only mistake for Buffalo all night.

Patrick Mahomes promptly followed it by marching Kansas City downfield against the NFL's top-ranked but exhausted defense, then finding Travis Kelce in the corner of the end zone from 8 yards, giving the Chiefs a memorable 42-36 victory - and never giving his burgeoning rival an opportunity with the ball.

''It worked out well for us this time,'' said Mahomes, who has his team playing in its fourth consecutive AFC title game. ''When you have two teams going back and forth, it stinks when you don't get to see the other guy go. But all you can do is play the rules the way the rules are explained, and that's what we did.''

Did it perfectly, too, setting up a showdown next Sunday against Cincinnati for another trip to the Super Bowl.

''The guys didn't flinch,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said ''You talk about an epic game, well, that's the way the players took it. They had tremendous respect for Buffalo and they knew it was going to be a battle and they kept going.''

What was Reid's advice for Mahomes down the stretch?

''When it's grim, be the grim reaper, and go get it,'' Reid said. ''He made everyone around him better.''

The lead changed hands three times in the final two minutes of regulation, and there were 25 points scored over that stretch. Harrison Butker, who earlier had missed a field goal and extra point, drilled a 49-yarder as time expired to force the extra session, and when the Chiefs won the coin toss, Mahomes took care of the rest.

He finished with 378 yards passing and three touchdowns, including a 64-yarder to Tyreek Hill during the thrilling final minutes of regulation and the clutch throw to Kelce that sent players streaming off the bench.

''We got tremendous leaders on both sides of the ball, whether it's offense, defense or special teams,'' Hill said. ''Nobody panicked. Nobody was like, `Oh, the game is over, there's 13 seconds left.' We just made plays.''

Allen did everything he could to prevent another season-ending loss inside Arrowhead Stadium. He threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis with 1:54 left in the regulation, then another to Davis - his playoff-record fourth TD catch of the game - with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.

Allen's only mistake? His coin toss call.

He finished with 329 yards passing, and Davis with eight catches for 201 yards, as the Bills lost their ninth straight road playoff game - a streak that includes last year's loss to Kansas City in the AFC title game.

''It's just tough, you know? To be in that moment again,'' Allen said. ''It sucks the way it happened, you know? We wanted to win that game. We had opportunities. Just, yeah, taking it all in, holding onto that feeling, and making sure we don't feel like this again - back-to-back years in the same spot. It's tough to take in.''

All told, Mahomes and Allen each threw for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns, completed at least 70% of their passes without an interception, and - get this - led their teams with at least 65 yards rushing.

No other quarterback in NFL history has accomplished those feats in a game, regular season or postseason.

''The Chiefs are a good football team. We knew it was going to take a heck of an effort coming out here,'' Bills coach Sean McDermott said, ''and I thought the guys gave us that effort, starting with Josh and all the way down the line. But those guys are hurt, we're disappointed - we're all disappointed, we're all sick to our stomach. You move on and you try and get yourself to learn from it, but it stings. It stings. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It stings.''

It was a playoff game for the history books, but the first 58 minutes few will remember.

The final two minutes and overtime, few will forget.

The Chiefs were leading 26-21 when Allen, who had been nearly perfect all night, connected with Davis for the third time in the game - a fourth-and-13 dart finished off a 17-play, 75-yard drive and gave the Bills the lead.

Not to be outdone, the Chiefs answered when Mahomes found Hill over the middle. The fleet-footed wide receiver ran away from cornerback Levi Wallace for a 64-yard touchdown that gave Kansas City the right lead back.

Then it was the Bills' turn again: Allen threw a 28-yard pass to Davis, hit him again for 12 yards, then found Emmanuel Sanders along the sideline to give McDermott's team a chance with 17 seconds on the clock.

Allen hit Davis right between the numbers, their 19-yard strike giving him the postseason-record - but not the victory.

That's because Mahomes wasn't done conjuring up playoff magic. He found Hill for 19 yards, then hit Kelce for 25 more on a schoolyard-style play, giving Butker a chance to try a 49-yarder into a slight, chilly breeze as time expired.

Naturally, it split the uprights.

Overtime.

A fitting way to end a divisional-round weekend filled with last-second heroics.

''Yeah, obviously not the way we wanted to end our season,'' Bills safety Jordan Poyer said. ''Man, the offense did everything they had to do. Defense, we had to go out there and make a stop, weren't able to do it. It's just a tough feeling, man. Just a really tough feeling, hard to put in words. It sucks. It's something we've got to live with.''

INJURIES

Bills: CB Micah Hyde left with an undisclosed injury he sustained on the final play of regulation.

Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu left on the opening drive with a concussion after the Pro Bowl safety was hit by teammate Jarran Reed's knee. ... CB Charvarius Ward was hurt trying to tackle Allen with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game.

UP NEXT

The Chiefs get a visit from Cincinnati next Sunday, becoming the first franchise in NFL history to host four consecutive conference championship games. The 49ers play the Rams for the NFC title in the nightcap.

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

Fantasy Schedule Breakdown

Player Notes
Raheem Mostert May 21 11:10pm ET
Raheem Mostert

Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (knee) agreed to a one-year, $3.125 million contract in March after spending his previous six seasons in San Francisco. During Mostert's time in the Bay Area, he accumulated 1,610 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns and was a hit-or-miss fantasy option for years. However, with the deal, he will follow new Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, who served as the 49ers run game and offensive coordinator since 2017. The 30-year-old believes his familiarity with the offense will help him this season. Still, with Mostert working his way back from a season-ending knee injury in September, he'll also need to battle Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, and Myles Gaskin for touches. As a result, the veteran's outlook isn't as bright, although he may have a few sufficient fantasy performances during the 2022-23 campaign.

From RotoBaller

Kadarius Toney May 21 10:40pm ET
Kadarius Toney

New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney (knee) hasn't been a full participant at recent OTAs. The 23-year-old was observed wearing the infamous no-contact red jersey, although it was later revealed he hasn't practiced because of minor arthroscopic knee surgery. Fortunately, the 2021 first-round pick should be ready to roll by training camp. Toney, who was rumored to be on the trade block a few months ago, has a chance of establishing himself as the team's top wideout this season. Yet, having Daniel Jones under center may make accumulating fantasy points a challenge, regardless of his place on the depth chart.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson May 21 10:10pm ET
Deshaun Watson

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson faces 22 civil lawsuits for alleged sexual misconduct. However, when speaking with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, reported that "no settlement talks are in the offing." The latest update adds another hurdle for the NFL and its investigation, primarily since individual cases likely won't happen immediately, making it much more challenging for the league to determine a potential punishment. It certainly doesn't suggest Watson will be off the hook. Yet, with potential trials delaying things, the veteran may be available for the 2022-23 campaign.

From RotoBaller

David Bell May 21 12:50pm ET
David Bell

Cleveland Browns wide receiver David Bell could be seeing plenty of action in this offensive unit. The third-round rookie can play both outside and slot roles, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. That being said, Bell could be a unique option for the Browns offense. They don't have a reliable No. 2 receiver to play behind Amari Cooper. The departure of Jarvis Landry leaves this team without another reliable pass catcher. Possibly, Bell steps up and becomes an important part of the Browns offense.

From RotoBaller

James White May 21 12:30pm ET
James White

New England Patriots running back James White (hip) was cleared for on-field drills. The veteran back was limited to three games due to hip surgery in October. The 30-year-old is making solid progress, but might be held out of full-squad workouts next week. The good news is, White should be ready to go when training camp begins. Although, rookie running back Pierre Strong Jr. might push White back on the depth chart.

From RotoBaller

Keaontay Ingram May 21 12:30pm ET
Keaontay Ingram

Arizona Cardinals running back Keaontay Ingram could ended up as the No. 2 option heading into next season. The Cardinals are without a reliable backup since Chase Edmonds departed during the offseason. That being said, Ingram could replace Edmonds as the No. 2 back behind James Conner. Last season, Edmonds averaged 13 touches per game, so it's unlikely that Ingram would see that much action. However, Conner does have a habit of missing time due to injuries. Ingram could be an interesting stash option with Eno Benjamin being basically his only competition.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield May 21 12:20am ET
Baker Mayfield

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield remains on the roster. Despite multiple clubs, specifically, the Panthers and Seahawks, remaining interested in Mayfield's services, there hasn't been any movement regarding a potential deal. The former Oklahoma Sooner is due to make over $18 million in guaranteed cash this season. However, with teams not looking to take on such a financial burden, especially for a quarterback coming off shoulder surgery, finding a suitor has been a challenge for the Browns. Nonetheless, Deshaun Watson is still potentially facing suspension, so there's a chance Mayfield could end up starting in Cleveland for at least some of the 2022-23 campaign.

From RotoBaller

Trey Lance May 20 11:40pm ET
Trey Lance

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance has received plenty of negative press over the last few months. However, despite the unfavorable publicity, tight end George Kittle recently went to bat for the signal-caller. When asked about having Lance under center this season, Kittle was all for it, exclaiming, "it's going to be pretty exciting." The former Bison appeared in six games during his inaugural year, throwing for 603 yards and rushing for 168 yards. He also accounted for six total touchdowns, although he tossed two interceptions and completed only 57.7% of his passing attempts. Nonetheless, while receiving a vote of confidence from Kittle is certainly a good thing for the 22-year-old, it still doesn't mean he'll start this season. But even if he does, he has a way to go before earning the trust of fantasy managers.

From RotoBaller

Nick Foles May 20 11:30pm ET
Nick Foles

Free-agent quarterback Nick Foles is expected to sign with the Colts. The terms of the agreement are being finalized, with the veteran anticipated to put pen to paper by early next week. Foles, who was relieved of his duties by the Bears on May 1, will reunite with Frank Reich, the team's head coach, who also served as the Eagles offensive coordinator during the 2017-18 campaign, the season Philly won a Super Bowl with Foles under center. While Matt Ryan is still anticipated to be the starter, Foles has a shot to eventually find himself as the No. 1 option on the depth chart. Nonetheless, the 33-year-old shouldn't draw much interest during fantasy drafts heading into September, although there is waiver wire potential throughout the season.

From RotoBaller

Kellen Mond May 20 3:20pm ET
Kellen Mond

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond is having a good spring this offseason. "Kellen's having a good spring so far, working incredibly hard, digesting the system. He made a couple checks yesterday at the LOS that he wasn't prepared play by play for...he just instinctively did it. Those are the little things you look for," new head coach Kevin O'Connell said. The 22-year-old got into just one game as a rookie last year and went 2-for-3 for five yards in one series. With Kirk Cousins likely staying in Minnesota for at least a couple more seasons, Mond will work to become his direct backup in 2022. The Vikings also have Sean Mannion in their quarterback room.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo May 20 3:10pm ET
Jimmy Garoppolo

The Carolina Panthers are still interested in San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, but in order for a trade to go down, the other team would have to agree to pick up a large portion of their salary. Nothing has changed on that front in weeks. Making things more difficult, both QBs are coming off surgeries. Although Jimmy G or Mayfield would give Carolina more competition at the position alongside Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral, they understandably aren't in a rush to trade for a rehabbing signal-caller unless the other team picks up the vast majority of their salary. There remains a scenario where both the Niners and Browns keep Garoppolo and Mayfield.

From RotoBaller

Quez Watkins May 20 12:50pm ET
Quez Watkins

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Quez Watkins doesn't see his role changing at all despite the addition of A.J. Brown. "We're all good guys, we're all going to compete, we're all going to do our part. My role is not going to change -- I'm going to continue to do what I do," Watkins said. The 23-year-old improved in his second NFL season last year, catching 43 passes for 647 yards and one touchdown in 17 games (12 starts). But the Eagles finished first in rushing last year, and the addition of Brown bumps Watkins to third on the receiving depth chart. Watkins' speed and ability to play in the slot will help him in this improving offense, but he'll have to hold off Zach Pascal in order to be fantasy relevant on a weekly basis.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Reed May 20 12:50pm ET
D.J. Reed

New York Jets cornerback D.J. Reed has been really impressed with rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner early on. Gardner, who was the No. 4 overall pick, didn't give up a single touchdown out of his 1,000-plus career coverage snaps and only allowed 13 catches for 117 yards last year at Cincinnati. "I love him man. I watched his tape and he's everything that the media is saying he is, he's a lockdown cornerback," Reed said. "He did it in college, and I believe he can do it at the NFL. He's prototypical, he has elite characteristics, and he plays with great eye discipline. He can catch, too. He makes great plays on the ball and it's just an overall complete cornerback in my opinion. I'm looking forward to balling with him."

From RotoBaller

Jameson Williams May 20 12:10pm ET
Jameson Williams

Detroit Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams (knee) thinks he can be ready by training camp in August, which would be an aggressive timetable for a return after he tore his ACL in the National Championship game on Jan. 11. Typically, ACL repair recovery takes nine to 12 months. Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 11 would be exactly eight months from the injury. If the first-rounder take part in training camp at all, he could make his NFL debut in the first month of the season. If he misses camp, Lions beat writer Tim Twentyman doesn't think we'll see Williams until late September or early October. The 21-year-old has been making good progress and has a ton of long-term potential, but those in redraft leagues should temper their expectations in Year 1.

From RotoBaller

Kadarius Toney May 20 10:40am ET
Kadarius Toney

New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka said that wide receiver Kadarius Toney is "doing all the right things...on and off the field." Kafka also said Toney is being attentive in meetings and has been good to work with during offseason team activities this week. At the same time, Toney's workload has been dialed back a bit due to undisclosed reasons. The 23-year-old played in only 10 games in his rookie season last year due to injuries, so the Giants are probably just playing it safe with him early in the offseason. Toney has a lot of playmaking abilities, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in New York's passing attack if everyone is healthy. The former first-round pick will be a high-risk, high-reward fantasy selection after he had 39 catches for 420 yards and no touchdowns in his first NFL season.

From RotoBaller

Mac Jones May 20 10:30am ET
Mac Jones

The New England Patriots sound ecstatic with second-year quarterback Mac Jones' offseason dedication. He has spent long hours at Gillette Stadium, often beating the coaches into the building to get a jump-start on film study for the day. Jones is also taking ownership of the offense and is willing to vouch for plays and concepts that he likes while pumping the brakes on plays that haven't worked. The 23-year-old impressed in his rookie season with 3,801 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on 521 attempts, and the additions of receivers DeVante Parker and Nelson Agholor should only help his cause in Year 2. However, the loss of former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could be significant, and Jones should be considered a low-upside QB2 until further notice.

From RotoBaller

Marquise Brown May 20 10:20am ET
Marquise Brown

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown is in line to be paid like one of the best receivers in the NFL, and the Cardinals will be compelled to extend his contract. Brown just had the best season of his career with 91 catches and 1,008 yards, but he ranked 14th and 26th in those categories. The soon-to-be 25-year-old is on an upward trajectory and should be better in a pass-happy offense in Arizona. Brown will take on a bigger role early in the year with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for six games, and he has chemistry with quarterback Kyler Murray from their days at Oklahoma. His fantasy ceiling and floor should be much higher in the desert.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield May 20 10:20am ET
Baker Mayfield

The Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks have shown interest in acquiring Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, but the Browns haven't been willing to absorb enough of his fully guaranteed $18.858 million salary for this season. It's unclear how far apart the sides have been, but the Browns want their contractual intake to be commensurate with the asset they receive in return. The Panthers and Seahawks are pushing for the Browns to eat as much as $17.823 million. With Mayfield still rehabbing his surgically repaired left shoulder, it has tempered the urgency to acquire him. The Browns could keep Mayfield as insurance in case Deshaun Watson is suspended this year, but either way, Mayfield's fantasy stock is way down after his disappointing 2021 season.

From RotoBaller

George Iloka May 20 12:20am ET
George Iloka

Former Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings safety George Iloka worked out for the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday with the idea that he could serve as a cover linebacker. Iloka hasn't played since tearing his ACL midway through the 2020 season, but he has been working towards a return to the NFL. The 32-year-old played in only four games with the Vikings before his devastating knee injury in 2020. He was originally drafted in the fifth round by the Bengals in 2012 out of Boise State. Iloka has 365 tackles (246 solo), 10 tackles for loss, three QB hits, nine interceptions, 32 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 103 career games (79 starts) in his eight NFL seasons.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods May 20 12:00am ET
Robert Woods

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Robert Woods (knee) is making good progress in his recovery from a torn ACL that he suffered last November while playing with the Los Angeles Rams. "I actually feel like they're kind of holding me back a little bit," Woods said. "I am trying to get back as well as I can, just doing everything (trainer) Todd Toriscelli has me doing, trying to stay focused and be patient with it. Right now I feel really, really good, getting going, being able to do some things." It remains to be seen if he'll be ready for training camp, but Woods is expected to be the team's No. 1 receiver after they traded A.J. Brown to the Eagles during the draft. The 30-year-old had 367 catches for 4,626 yards and 23 touchdowns in his five seasons with LA, but he's coming off a major injury and is now in a run-first offense.

From RotoBaller